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Uganda Cuts Oil Exploration Deals

FILE: Representative illustration of an oil pump extracting petroleum from the ground. Taken October 2, 2020

Uganda's cabinet has agreed for the energy ministry to sign production-sharing agreements (PSA) for two oil exploration blocks with two oil firms, including a unit of Australia's DGR Global, the government said on Thursday.

The 637-square kilometer exploration area is located in Uganda's Albertine Rift basin near the border with DRC. A different unit of DGR Global already owns an exploration property in the area, Kanywataba, which it acquired in 2017.

The second deal is for Uganda's state-owned Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), and covers the Kasuruban exploration area that stretches over 1,285 square kilometers, according to the statement.

Uganda first discovered commercial reserves of crude oil in the Albertine Rift basin in 2006 and officials say first oil will be pumped out of the ground in 2025.

The two exploration areas were part of five blocks Uganda auctioned in a licensing round launched in 2019.

The firms will initially get two-year exploration licenses for the blocks, the statement said.

A cabinet meeting on January 9 approved the signing of the agreement with DGR Energy Turaco Uganda Limited, owned by Australia's DGR Global, for the Turaco exploration area, according to a statement issued by Godfrey Kabbyanga, a junior information minister.